A/N : Thanx to all my fabulous reviewers; Demonica Mills, Moonjava, Freezyboncoolipants, B/S Rox, RoleModelGirlie, Ape18, ShannenMariaDoherty, sheilamarie, Moluvsnumber17, and all the people that reviewed all the other chapters of my fic too! Well, it's four months since this sequel began, and would you believe almost a year since the original story (Our Little Secret) started! And now we've come to the very end. Enjoy!
(For disclaimer, etc. - see chapter 1)
It was lunch time on Saturday, and everybody had been assigned a task for the preparation of Rebecca Blackwell's sixteenth birthday party. Spike was at the house with the girl herself, finalising arrival times for the food and checking up on which guests were still able to make it, whilst Willow and Tara had been sent out to fetch the cake from the bakery and more decorations. Everyone else was lending a hand at the Bronze preparing the club with streamers, balloons and banners, as well as shifting furniture between them.
"Buffy, what did I just say to you?" Joyce complained as she watched her daughter balance precariously on the top of the step ladder as she tied balloons to a beam on the ceiling.
"Something about being careful?" Buffy said innocently as she finished her task and climbed back down to the floor. Off her mothers look she sighed.
"Honestly Mom, I'm thirty-five years old" she complained good-naturedly, "I know what I can handle"
"And I am your mother" Joyce replied in kind, "And I know what's best for my little girl. You need to take it easy after all you've been through, like Spike is"
Buffy's fingers went absently to the bite mark on her neck that had already healed, leaving a scar that hid the previous one Angel had made years ago.
"It's weird" the Slayer said thoughtful as Joyce picked up the final banner from the pool table it rested on, "Obviously it hurt when Spike bit me but...I can't explain it, it just felt different, even different to when Angel..." she shook her head and looked away blushing then, "And this is not the kind of thing I should be telling my mother"
"Buffy honestly" Joyce rolled her eyes, guessing what her daughter was alluding to, "You really think that Rupert and I never..."
"Please!" Buffy raised her hand in a stop signal and interrupted her mother sharply, "If I pay you will you please not finish that sentence"
Joyce smirked much like her son-in-law would as she passed the banner to Buffy.
"I'm your mother, sweetie, not a nun" she pointed out, "but I'll spare you the details if you spare me yours"
"Deal" the Slayer agreed as she called Xander over and he helped her put up the last banner.
A few minutes later, the gang stepped back to admire their handiwork.
"It looks great" Cordy smiled.
"It's too...pink" Josh complained, making Xander chuckle.
"I promise when you're sixteen we'll buy new decorations" he told his son who sighed with relief.
"Sweet sixteen, never been kissed" Faith commented, "Is that actually true about anybody?" she frowned looking around the group.
They all shook their heads in the negative on that one, though Buffy knew of two people sitting in her house who'd made it to sixteen without being kissed. One was Spike, who as his human persona William was not exactly popular with the ladies, and the other was Becky. At least she told herself the other was her daughter. She knew better in reality but it was better for her blood pressure to have Becky be sweet and innocent a while longer inside her head.
"I think we're done" she declared, checking her watch.
There was just enough time for everyone to get home, get ready, and get back here before the party started. Demon cleanup, rebuilding of the Magic Box, it was all important, but for one more night it would just have to wait.
"Becky, honey, are you almost ready?" Buffy called up the stairs.
The party at the Bronze could not officially start without Rebecca, it was all for her after all. The guests would start arriving in ten minutes and the girl was still not ready.
"Just a sec" she called back to her mother as she rifled in her drawer for the jewellery she wanted to wear.
She had a vague memory of a locket she'd had as a kid, maybe something someone bought her for her christening or her first birthday or something? Anyway, she really wanted to wear it for her party tonight but she was having terrible trouble finding the little blue box she knew it lived in.
"Ah-huh!" she declared when she finally found it, grabbing the box from the drawer. It slipped through her fingers both the locket and little velvet cushion it sat on falling out onto the floor. As she bent down to gather them up, Becky found a piece of paper had come from the box too.
"With love from D" she read aloud, frowning hard as she tried to remember what the D stood for. She couldn't think of anyone, as she walked down the stairs, the necklace in her hand.
"About bloody time" Spike cursed when he heard her approach, "We were beginning to think you..." he stopped suddenly when he turned and saw his little girl, looking so grown up in her 'posh party frock' as he called it, "Bloody hell Bit. You look stunning, pet" he smiled, eyes full of fatherly pride.
"Oh, Rebecca" Buffy smiled also, tears coming to her eyes as she felt so proud and at the same time so incredibly old knowing she had a daughter that looked so much like an adult these days.
"I wanted to wear this" she said, dangling her locket from her fingers, and trying to stop her parents staring at her in that disconcerting way.
"Here, luv, I'll do that for you" Spike offered, taking the silver item from her and fastening it round her neck.
"Where did I get it?" she asked both her parents, "I can't remember and the note in the box just said from D? I don't remember knowing anybody with that initial so well"
"Sorry sweetie I don't remember either" Buffy shook her head, "Anyway, we need to go" she said, encouraging her daughter towards the door.
The three all left, headed for the party at the Bronze, all still trying to remember who the mysterious 'D' might be, and coming up blank every time.
Buffy ran up Glory's tower as if her life depended on it, of course it really did but more importantly so did her daughters. The hell-god was convinced that Rebecca was her ticket home, that she was the Key and her blood would open the portal to Hell. As time went on it had seemed as if she were right in her assumption, but the Slayer's sister Dawn had started to notice that the weird things that happened around Becky only ever happened if she was there too...
On the top of the tower Spike struggled against Glory as Dawn rescued the baby from the ledge. She realised then, with some horror, that it was all over. Spike was about to be thrown from the tower and though it shouldn't kill him, it meant he'd be of no use in saving her or his daughter. Worse than this, Dawnie realised she was bleeding and that as her blood trickled over the side of the tower it was opening a portal that hung in the air. Whilst it was a relief to note there was not a scratch on the baby in her arms, it was impossibly painful to realise her assumptions had been correct. She was the real Key and she had just opened the gateway to Hell.
"Well, kids" Glory turned and grinned at the fourteen year old and the small child in her arms, "Looks like you're both coming on a little trip with Aunt Glory" she smiled.
"Not a chance" said the Slayer's voice behind her and the Hell god turned to deal with Buffy.
"I already beat you up once today" she sighed, "and I smacked your precious vampire down. You really think you can stop me now?" she asked.
Buffy had more power running through her being than she'd ever had before. Adrenaline, anger, but mostly just that pure animalistic rage that come to a mother when her baby is in danger. With a scream fit to wake the dead, she launched herself at Glory, swinging the Troll hammer in her hands, time and time again. Glory stood no chance as she was literally beaten into submission. As Buffy kicked her bloodied body from the tower, she morphed in mid-air, back into Ben, who died on impact with the ground.
"My baby" Buffy cried as she turned back and Dawn handed Rebecca to her. She held the baby close to her and shed tears of relief as she looked over at her sister, "We have to get out of here" she told her but Dawn shook her head.
"It's too late for me" she yelled over the noise of various demons that emerged from the ever expanding hole to Hell. A dragon flew out and up overhead as bolts of lighting cracked the ground below.
"You?" Buffy gasped, finally understanding.
"I'm the Key, Buffy, not Rebecca" Dawn cried, tears running down her cheeks, "There's not a mark on her, it was my blood that started this...and my blood that has to stop it" she said firmly though she was petrified.
"Dawnie, no" Buffy cried, "You're my sister, you can't just..."
"I can" the younger girl nodded, "I have to" she walked over to her sister and kissed her forehead, before doing the same to Rebecca, "I know you're the Slayer, Buffy, but you have other responsibilities too now, like Spike and Becky. No-one is going to miss me when I'm gone" she said, fighting tears.
"I'll miss you" Buffy sobbed, "We all will, you can't just..."
"Please, Buffy" Dawn interrupted, "I'm not afraid to die" she said bravely, "and I know this is what I have to do"
She turned away and looked out at the sky, the sun just beginning to rise was bathing the sky in red and orange. She smiled as she realised what a precious gift she was giving to the world, and most importantly to her sister and her niece.
"I love you" she told them one last time before she ran and jumped from the edge of the platform.
From below Spike saw her falling, and then hanging in the centre of the portal, writhing with pain. A moment later there was a flash of green energy so bright, everyone had to look away, and then it was over.
Buffy made her way down the tower, hugging her baby close to her body. Spike was forced to wait in the shadows until she came to him and then he hugged them both tightly.
"We did it Buffy, you did an excellent job" Giles smiled as he and the other Scoobies gathered around them.
"I can't believe we all got through this without losing anyone" she cried with relief as Spike held on to her.
"What happened to Glory?" Xander asked worriedly.
"S-she's gone" Tara explained, "a-at least, we're pretty sure"
"Ben is dead" Willow said a little sadly, "I'm fairly certain that means she is too"
"It is something we'll have to research" Giles nodded, "but I think for now we should be glad of our victory. It is somewhat of a miracle that we all came through relatively unscathed" he smiled.
As the gang made their way home, Spike ever mindful of the rising sun, Buffy glanced back behind her at the tower, a slight frown on her features. She had the weirdest feeling, like she'd left something behind...
"There's the birthday girl!" Xander grinned as his 'niece' came in the door of the Bronze flanked by her parents. There was much hugging and kissing and present giving as the whole group of Scoobies descended upon Becky. She loved the attention and the gifts, but then what sixteen year old wouldn't? Many of her friends arrived soon after, and she danced and laughed with them as her parents and the gang looked on, mostly staying to the side of the dance-floor with their drinks. They felt a little too old for crazy dancing with the young people most of the time.
Cordy found it sweet and Xander just amusing when one of Becky's friends younger sisters who'd tagged along asked Josh to dance. He looked stunned by the question and even more so by the experience of slow-dancing with a pretty girl.
The party went on into the night until finally the DJ announced it was the final dance.
Again Josh could be seen with young Emily, and Willow convinced Tara they should grace the floor with their presence. Faith dragged Angel up and Cordy and Xander decided what the hell if everyone else was going to.
"And you two are standing here watching, why?" Becky asked her parents with a fake look of annoyance.
"Same reason you are I'd wager" Spike told her, "Whatever that is"
"Dances like these are for people in love" his daughter shrugged, "That means people like you guys, and not people like me"
"But it's your party sweetie" Buffy said a little sadly, "You should have a last dance with someone special"
"Er, Becky?" said a voice and they turned to see a young man standing behind them.
"Michael, what are you doing here?" the young girl asked with wide eyes, and Spike pulled on Buffy's hand leading her over to the dance floor.
"Come on, Slayer. Let's leave them be" he said pulling her into his arms and swaying to the music.
"That's so weird that he just showed up" Buffy frowned a little, "I'm sure Becky told me he had a girlfriend...Spike?" she said suddenly noticing the smirk he was trying to hide, "Spike, what did you do?"
"Look, I knew Becky liked the boy, I heard her on the phone asking him what he was doing tonight. Little sod said he was seeing his girlfriend" he explained.
"And?" Buffy pressed, wanting the whole story.
"Kid doesn't have a girl, Slayer, he was lying" he almost laughed at her expression, "Me and Xander do talk sometimes y'know, have a beer and such, have a natter about the kids and what-not. Turns out your boy Michael knew Josh and Becky were connected and back when they were kids he noticed her more than he let on"
"So why tell her he had a girlfriend?" Buffy didn't get it.
"Cos he panicked" Spike shook his head, "Long story short he likes her a lot but apparently my reputation proceeds me when it comes to whelps with a liking for our daughter" he sighed.
"He was too afraid to even admit he liked her because he thought, what? You'd rip his throat out?" Buffy giggled, "Oh, Spike, that's terrible" she said, swatting him in the chest in annoyance before hiding her face in his shirt so no-one saw the laughing fit she was having.
"I called the boy up, had a word" her vampire lover told her as they danced, "And there he is, dancing with our girl" he said softly watching the two young people swaying together.
"Our little girl" Buffy sighed as she looked over at them, "All grown up...Pretty soon she'll be gone" she added sadly, looking down at her feet.
"Now Slayer, none of that" Spike told her, lifting her chin with his finger til she was looking at him, "Yeah, one day she'll move out, probably get married and give us some fat grandchildren" he smirked, "but not for a long time yet" he assured her, "And besides" he said, suggestive smirk turned on full force, "Wouldn't it be nice to have the house to ourselves a little more often?"
"Mr Blackwell, I don't know what you mean" Buffy said innocently as she could.
"Well, Slayer" he sighed, "Guess I'll have to see about showing you then" he told her, leaning down to kiss her soundly as the song they'd been dancing to finished.
It was the perfect end to a perfect night.
A/N2 : That's it, that's all she wrote, end of! Hopefully you like the ending and you'll take a moment to review and let me know. Thanks in advance.